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Retzky Donation Will Transform Our Simulation Center


Carol Retzky and her late husband, Herb Retzky (’46), have shown great generosity to the UIC College of Pharmacy for years. And now, Carol has given the gift of flexibility. Her recent $1 million donation will help transform our present 2 North suite into an adaptable space for training student pharmacists and hosting college events.

To make an omelet, as the saying goes, you have to break some eggs. Likewise, to create the dispensing center, the college will knock down walls to transform the suite into an innovative active-teaching space. In the new space, first-year students in Introduction to Pharmacy Practice will learn the fundamentals of pharmacy practice in a large classroom that can transition into simulated pharmacy areas.

“It’s going to dramatically transform a wing of the college for teaching purposes,” said Ben Stickan, the assistant dean of advancement at the college. “It’s going to give us flexible space for the simulation center that will serve both immediate and yet-envisioned future needs.”

The Center’s big, central space will expand capacity from 120 seats to 172, meaning the Introduction to Pharmacy Practice course can accommodate all incoming P1 students at once. By eliminating one section of the course, the new setup will have a “ripple effect,” freeing up other space in the college for courses and additional uses, said Stickan. The new space will also upgrade the dispensing lab and distance-learning technology.

“This gift will allow us to create a state-of-the-art facility,” said Dr. Glen Schumock, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The Simulation Center will allow students to get handson training and experience, but it is also flexible and can be used for other purposes.”

“The movable partitions mean part of the space will turn into simulated pharmacy areas, where students will practice dispensing medications and counseling patients on things like insulin, inhalers and blood-glucose

testing. Consolidating the course and practice spaces, instead of having them on different floors, increases and improves pharmacy-practice opportunities.” said Dr. Marlowe Djuric Kachlic, course coordinator for Introduction to Pharmacy Practice.

“That means P1 students will go on to their later community-pharmacy positions with better skills and greater confidence. They’ll be even more well-prepared when they go out on site, and they’ll really get a lot out of their experiences when they go out into the community,” she said.

The Retzky’s philanthropy at the college goes back years. Their $5 million donation established the Herbert and Carol Retzky Deanship in 2016, and the couple also established a scholarship. The latest gift helps UIC officials complete a renovation they’d been eyeing for years, said Dale Rush, associate dean for administrative affairs and project manager for the renovation.

“It was only through this gift … that we were able to take a step back and envision what would be the optimal space that would benefit the students,” he said. �